I believe I pay an exorbitant amount of child maintenance and cannot afford to continue paying this. What are my options?


If this is voluntary child maintenance then you can discuss this with the other parent and advise them that as you cannot afford to pay the higher amount you will be reducing the maintenance you are paying. This puts the ball in their court if they want to bring an application or not, and if they accept it then you avoid the cost altogether. If you are paying child maintenance in terms of a parenting plan, but where there is no court order, then the parenting plan may set out what options should be pursued or approach taken to resolve the issue first. If there is a court order in place which requires you to pay a set amount in child maintenance, and this is now unaffordable to you, then you will need to approach the nearest maintenance court in the area in which the child resides to apply for a reduction in the maintenance you are currently paying. You will need to set out on affidavit as to what has changed in your financial circumstances and put up supporting documents to show that you cannot afford to pay the maintenance set out in the court order. This will then follow the ordinary procedure of maintenance court proceedings whereby the court will decide after a formal enquiry is held whether there should be a reduction in the court ordered child maintenance you are paying.


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